Do I have another option in a totaled car situation?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do I have another option in a totaled car situation?

I was rear-ended and pushed into a semi-truck. The driver fell asleep and hit
me. The semi-truck driver is not pursuing any repairs nor filing a claim.
The insurance from the person at fault has provided me with a rental and had my
car evaluated for repairs. It would cost over 15K to repair my vehicle, which
is valued at 10K and I owe 8.5K. The car has been considered totaled.

If I take the 11K the insurance is offering I’m left with 2.5K which is
obviously not going to buy me a vehicle like what I had. Are there any other
options besides taking the 11k or keeping my salvaged vehicle? I don’t mind if
I continue to pay the 8.5k, but I’d like to have a vehicle comparable to what I
had. I know that I have to pay the loan first, so it’s not like I can just
use the money to buy a car and continue to pay the loan. I just want to be in
the same position I was before. I have a 2014 car a 250 monthly payment and

Asked on February 2, 2018 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the law does not take any consideration of whether you can afford to buy another car: that is simply not a factor. The law requires the at-falt driver or his insurance to pay the lesser of the then-current fair market or blue book value, "totalling" the car, or the cost to repair. It will not force them to repair a car when repairing costs more than the car is worth, because it is inefficient to pay more to repair a thing than that thing is worth. So taking the $11k may be your best option: you are bring offered more than the fair market value, so more than they strictly speaking need to offer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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